Conservative election campaign launched in Barnstaple

Conservative Party chairman Grant Shapps MP (right) and Peter Heaton-Jones, Prospective Parliamentar

Conservative Party chairman Grant Shapps MP (right) and Peter Heaton-Jones, Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for North Devon, address members of the local Conservative Association during their visit to Barnstaple Hotel on Thursday. - Credit: Archant

Conservative Party chairman Grant Shapps MP visits the town on the first leg of a two day tour of the South West.

Pictured with the North Devon Conservative Association management committee is Conservative Party ch

Pictured with the North Devon Conservative Association management committee is Conservative Party chairman Grant Shapps MP (second left) and local Prospective Parliamentary Candidate Peter Heaton-Jones (centre). The committee are Des BVrailey, Mike Harrison, Jasmine Chesters, David Barker and Jeremy Smith-Bingham. - Credit: Archant

THE Chairman of the Conservative Party was in Barnstaple today (Thursday) as part of a two day tour to rally the faithful for the forthcoming country and general elections.

Conservative Party chairman Grant Shapps MP (right) and Peter Heaton-Jones, Prospective Parliamentar

Conservative Party chairman Grant Shapps MP (right) and Peter Heaton-Jones, Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for North Devon, address members of the local Conservative Association during their visit to Barnstaple Hotel on Thursday. - Credit: Archant

The Right Honourable Grant Shapps MP was joined by Peter Heaton-Jones, the Conservative’s prospective parliamentary candidate, who will be bidding in 2015 to wrest North Devon from Nick Harvey MP.

Their first visit was to North Devon District Hospital to meet senior managers there and discuss healthcare in the region, before heading to Barnstaple Hotel to talk to members of North Devon Conservative Association.

Mr Shapps said the party had achieved a lot during the past three years and said he believed overturning the 5,800 Lib Dem majority in North Devon was not just about votes, but the difference that would enable Britain ‘to go out there and excel’ under a new Conservative government.


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He praised Mr Heaton-Jones, saying: “Peter immediately strikes me as the kind of person who is right there for the community and interested in people, particularly good qualities for an MP but surprisingly not something everyone has.

“The first place he took me was the hospital, which suggests to me that is high on his priority list. What North Devon needs is somebody really active for its people, both here and representing their voices in Westminster.”

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Mr Heaton-Jones said they were going to fight to make sure Devon stayed Conservative in the county council elections, before battling in 2015 to turn North Devon blue again after more than 20 years with a Liberal Democrat MP.

“Nationally the message I want to get across is we will be better off in North Devon with a conservative running the economy rather than a return to Labour,” he said.

“We have just been to the hospital where we had a good discussion with them on their needs and financial situation and I am determined to protect local services such as the NHS.

“I’m also concerned for people being able to live here – it is very difficult for people brought up in our rural towns and villages to be able to afford to stay there.

“I am getting around the constituency meeting as many people as possible to really get to the nub of what the local issues are.”

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